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Ford's 100,000th hybrid SUV rolls off line at Kansas City plant

Ford Motor Company yesterday celebrated the production of its 100,000th hybrid SUV and is ramping up production of hybrid vehicles this year.

When Ford launched the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids five years ago, the company hoped the SUVs would be a hit. Now, the vehicles remain the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market. Yesterday, workers at Ford's Kansas City assembly plant celebrated a milestone as its 100,000th hybrid SUV rolled off the line.

The Ford Escape Hybrid SUV and Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV deliver 34 mpg city driving, 31 mpg highway. The newest entries to Ford's hybrid lineup, the Fusion Hybrid and Milan Hybrid deliver 41 mpg city driving, 36 mpg highway, the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans on the market, Ford announced in a news release.

The Kansas City assembly plant, which employs 4,100 people, has been the hub for Ford's hybrid SUV production since 2004 when the first Ford Escape Hybrid rolled off the line. Lean, flexible manufacturing processes and specially-trained employees at the plant allow the hybrids to be built on the same production line as conventional Escape and Mariner SUVs.

In addition to the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids, the Kansas City assembly plant builds the Ford F-150 Regular Cab, Super Cab, and Super Crew; the Ford Escape; the Mercury Mariner; and the Mazda Tribute.